'Nancy Drew' star Tunji Kasim reveals the 'authentic' research methods he used to prepare for his role as Ned Nickerson
His character has a fair bit of a past, including being in a prison. Kasim met with teens via a non-profit organization who had been through a similar phase and had reintegrated back into society and chalked up a preparation plan
The 2019 PaleyFest‘s fall TV previews saw the cast of 'Nancy Drew' talk about their respective roles in the detective series. The upcoming CW series follows an 18-year-old Nancy Drew, who after her college plans are put on hold, finds herself involved in a ghostly mystery when she and her four friends are witnesses (and suspects) to a murder, and team up to find the person responsible.
Kennedy McMann, Tunji Kasim, Maddison Jaizani, Alex Saxon, Leah Lewis, Kennedy McMann, and Scott Wolf were part of the fest. They were also joined by Melinda Hsu Taylor, one of the writers and executive producer Stephanie Savage. Talking to MEA WorldWide (MEAWW) during the fest, Tunji Kasim, who plays Ned Nickerson in the series spoke about being part of the show and the research he put in to bring his character to life.
When asked about the feeling of being part of an iconic show, Kasim felt it was an honor. " When I got the audition email I was through, it was nostalgic for me because I had read a few Nancy Drew novels growing up. As it went on, it became a reality that I was going to be part of it and it was very very exciting," he said.
'Nancy Drew' made her first appearance in 1930 and since then has been a staple in children’s literature and an American cultural icon. Created to be a female counterpart to the 'Hardy Boys', the 'Nancy Drew' books were written by numerous ghostwriters under the pseudonym of Carolyn Keene. The series has been through many iterations over the years but continues to fill library shelves to this day. For Kasim, playing Nick was all about ample research. "The biggest thing about Nick is he’s been to prison," he explained. "He’s committed a pretty big crime like manslaughter. We were fortunate enough to work with a group of members from the ARC, a Non-Profit organization from Los Angeles. They have been through the prison system, get education degrees, and reintegrate back into society. I was able to look up to all those guys and do my own research."
According to Deadline, Ned is also Nancy's secret flame in the series. A former high school athlete who is working as a car mechanic, Ned winds up a suspect in the murder along with Nancy — leading her to uncover a shocking motive from his past. But whether Nick’s a victim of circumstance or something far more sinister is yet to be revealed.
You can watch the complete cast interview here:
The 'Nearly Famous' actor also opined that it was exciting to get something authentic and hear a real experience from people who had to go through this process. "We consulted one of the guys while writing one of the episodes," he said. During the San Diego Comic-Con, Kasim had teased about his character having a bit of a past: "As we go deeper in the series, we'll get to know what secrets he's been hiding."
'Nancy Drew' will premiere Wednesday, October 9 at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.